The Richard Lewis Award singing competition was founded in 2001 and is open to post graduate singers studying at The Royal Academy of Music. The first winner was the baritone Rodney Clarke, a fine young baritone.
When the idea was discussed initially , it was decided that because Richard Lewis was such a versatile singer who embraced every aspect of vocal music, so this would be the criteria for entrants.
Each comperitor must sing a programme of around 25 minutes including opera, oratorio and song and must sing in different languages as well.
Singers must present themselves well, as stage deportment is considered to be important.
What the adjudicators look for are qualities that will show they are ready for entering the professional singing world. They look for that important charisma and vocal sound that mark them out from the usual.
So far the list of winners is an impressive one (see right), with many of the past winners already singing all over the world. Adjudicators, many of who were colleagues of Richard Lewis, apply the strongest and critical opinions
as to who will win.
Some 50 singers are auditioned each year, and out of these the initial panel chooses six to eight finalists.
Helps young singers
The Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Trust not only sponsors the competition but also helps any young singer who needs financial support such as one young tenor who needed orthodontic work.
The Trust feels that the Royal Academy of Music is the best home for the award, as singers from its student ranks are at the right stage of their development, when help is arguably at its most useful.
(2nd prize) Andri
(2nd Prize) Adam Marsden, Sonia Grane
(2nd prize Frederick Long)
(2nd prize Oliver Dunn)
David Butt Philip, Kong Seok Choi, Gerard Collett
Dong Jun Wang
(2nd prize Allan Clayton)
Seung Wook Seong
Joint winners Lucy Crowe and Sarah Tynan